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North Carolina governor signs abortion bill into law

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory [official website] on Monday signed a restrictive abortion bill into law. The new law requires abortion clinics to meet requirements similar to those for outpatient surgical centers. It also requires doctors to be present during abortions, bans the procedure based on gender and bars coverage by government provided insurance plans. The North Carolina Senate [official website] approved House Bill 695 [text, PDF] earlier this month, despite criticism from pro-choice activists who denounced the bill as an unjust intrusion on women's reproductive rights. Regarding the new law, McCrory stated [press release release], "This law does not further limit access and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens." Abortion-rights advocates stated [Reuters report] that by signing the bill into law, Governor McCrory broke earlier campaign promises that he would not sign legislation aimed at restricting access to abortions, and reported that they will continue to fight the restrictive new law.

Recently, other states have attempted to pass similar regulations regarding abortion clinics. Earlier this month a judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama delayed enforcement [JURIST report] of an Alabama abortion law until March 2014. Also this month a judge for the US District Court for the District of North Dakota temporarily blocked [JURIST report] a North Dakota abortion law, calling it unconstitutional. Also in July Texas Governor Rick Perry signed [JURIST report] House Bill number 2, which enacts three new restrictions on the practice of abortion, into law.

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